Mr. Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping, emphasized that significant initiatives have strengthened and revived infrastructure construction in the country. He was speaking at the session on “Building India: The Infrastructure Imperative” at the CII Annual Session 2016: Building National Competitiveness held in New Delhi today.
The Minister stated that the road construction pace has now reached 20 kms a day with a target to reach 30 kms a day in the next 4-5 months. The focus also has been to construct over 2 lakh kms of road network as National Highways in order to decongest the existing road network, he added.
Mr. Gadkari highlighted adoption of a project-specific approach to address the issue of stalled projects in the Roads sector. As a result, around 85% of these projects have been put back on track. The emphasis now has been on awarding the projects under the innovative Hybrid Annuity and Toll-Operate-Transfer mode, thus creating an opportunity for the private sector to invest in road construction.
Innovative initiatives such as use of waste material for road construction are being implemented to reduce costs and improve quality. The Minister stressed the need to develop 111 important rivers for inland waterways, development of Multi Modal Hubs, water ports etc. to reduce logistics cost. He also urged the private sector to develop lighthouses and islands in and around waterways which would spur tourism as well.
Mr. Atul Punj, Chairman, CII National Committee on Construction and Chairman, Punj Lloyd Limited emphasized that the sector has got a fresh lease of life under the current regime. The sector has picked up after positive developments including amendments in the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 2015, and announcement of National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF). However, there are still concerns regarding substantial unsettled claims, mandate of NIIF etc., he added.
Mr. Vipin Sondhi, Chairman, CII National Committee on Capital Goods & Engineering and Managing Director & CEO, JCB India Ltd, highlighted the Government’s proactive policy initiatives in the last couple of years including streamlining of land acquisition and regulatory clearances, close coordination with other Ministries etc. The focus has rightly been on strengthening the execution of projects and, at the same time, creating a robust pipeline of projects.
5 April 2016